I’ve got a good marching pace on with Days Are Gone firming planted in my ear holes. Hmm… there’s something of ironic justice happening as I stride across Trinity Way and a group of lads jeer out of their car. God knows what they’re shouting at me. The thought goes through my mind… I wonder what the Haim sisters would do? My money is on bassist Este top trumping the macho catcalling with some kinda Greek arm salute. I march on with the girls’ battle cries ringing in my ears.

Haim have rode the frothy fame wave since their debut release in August. The 3 sisters are under the tender age of 27. The shitz and giggles excitement surrounding them is well deserved. Yeah yeah yeah, we know they’re getting compared to Fleetwood Mac left right and centre. It’s only when you encounter them on stage that you get the full Haim experience and the hype sticks. For first album hitters there’s genuine surprise at how much presence, prowess and goddamn guitar playing skill is going on.
Tonight is the band’s third Mancunian outing. And well done music lovers; Haim have already got a glowing soft spot for our city. First time was a tightly packed, energetic night at The Deaf Institute. The second time will be known as both one of their craziest shows and an ‘up-yours tweet off’ at The Ritz. This helps put tonight in perspective – The Ritz gig witnessed a beautiful moment of genuine surprise and humility. The girls just didn’t realise how well received they would be. The crowd was fizzy and vocal towards them.
 Fast forward 3 months on, and here at The Academy the pre-gig wait is becoming a tradition. 20 minutes turn to 40 and then an hour. The 3 centre parted – we style ourselves or else – sisters arrive on stage. Falling kicks us off. And now the waiting can be forgiven. Wow.. c’mon girls. There’s a clear self assurance that’s been cemented since The Ritz. Excitement and banter and beat perfect control. The girls’ faces show less shock; more focus. Haim realise how good they are and how much we need this kind of band right now. It’s weird, it feels like there’s a hit-littered set list, from a band that’s been around. The biggies – ‘Don’t Save Me’ and ‘Forever’ – are played with full pelt audience participation. Many of the other tracks get crowd backing too, demonstrating how well the full album holds up.
‘If I Could Change Your Mind’ garners momentum and speeds into some non-ironic 80s power riffing. Danielle’s skills hold us slightly agog. Vocally and riff-erly. Este on bass is hilarious. She announces “Let’s imagine we’re all having a jam in my living room.” Cue big, over stated crowd clapping above heads. I want to book my drum lessons. Before we know it the girls have taken a bow off stage. Not because we’ve been short changed. Haim have got that delicious knack of holding your gaze and ears in tune with each moment. There’s no sense of filler or fluff. The encore comes in the shape of an unexpected Beyonce cover. A slow, rocky, rhythmic version of ‘XO’, wow. Then topping arrives with tightly wrung version of The Wire.
I’m looking around and noticing an important feature. There’s some cracking hair do’s knocking about. Beehives, backcombs, plaits and flowers. Lots and lots of girls are here tonight. The women here are tall and short, waify and wobbly, shaking off puppy fat and heeled up like adonises. You can see the Haim dopplegangers a mile off. On the whole there’s a huge raft of self expression. An up close and slightly sweaty version of a street style blog. The band offer permission. Permission to be less than perfect. Have unruly hair. Flower it up. Wear leather and denim and just kinda let it be a bit unruffled and girly. Women need that kind of permission. We also need the green light to go further. My sincere hope is that Haim start the tidal wave for other female bands. Bands that create anthems rather than pine over boys not calling. Today is Women’s Day. This band can’t just be an anomaly that stands out against Miley, twerking, fillers and fakeness. Haim should signal the way for other girls to triumphantly and emphatically stand up with guitars and drums. We look forward to breaking the dams for the rest that’ll come.

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I'm an indie kid at heart, with a soft spot for thoughtful electronica and a guilty love of pure pop. A break up in the early noughties with a foppish haired 'all about the guitars' boy caused my musical path to diverge out towards Mr Scruff, Ministry of Sound and dance pleasures beyond. Highlights from this year's musical calendar include Sounds From the Other City, Badly Drawn Boy at the Ten album launch, Bjork at MI and when Elbow came home.I design and illustrate so I'm continually perfecting the ultimate work soundtrack to get ideas going: daytime People I'd still like to see: Imogen Heap, Jason Mraz, Brett Anderson and Ghostpoet.Follow me on Twiiter - http://twitter.com/#!/rachaelkearney